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James Mead Stephenson Scholarship

$28,511 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 204 people in 14 months
Created July 28, 2017
The goal of this gofundme page is to raise money for a scholarship which will support students who wish to continue James' work in international development. The James Mead Stephenson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Columbia University graduate student enrolled in the School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) with background, interests, and goals similar to James, particularly students with a Peace Corps background or interest in humanitarian aid work. Please contribute to honor James and continue supporting work he was incredibly dedicated to.

James worked tirelessly in many forgotten areas and was fearless in his commitment to making the world a kinder, more peaceful, and more equitable place whether it was in Iraq, Uganda, Somalia, Mali, Libya, Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, or Sri Lanka. James was there, on the ground in all those dangerous places, working to protect people who could not protect themselves. James loved local people, local music, local food (always eating camel), learned new languages, and drank all the homemade Rakia he could.

Raised primarily in Southern California, James took advantage of different opportunities, had a variety of interests, and had an adventurous spirit, e.g. frequent trips in high school to Tijuana, surfing, ice hockey, "car surfing", and wrestling. Our parents fostered his love for international travel from an early age. A constant thrill seeker,  I remember exploring a hotel in Mombasa late at night, bars in Hong Kong, and a little village in York, England with him. From the beginning, he wanted to meet local villagers, explore the gritty side of town, and always broke a few rules.

James was a man of extremes. He could be wild, intense, and always offered hysterical commentary albeit often inappropriate. He either ate street meat or dined at 5 star restaurant, rarely anything in between. He ordered two espressos and a Rock Star by 7am and on vacation, he often ordered a bloody mary, double, hold the tomato juice at 9.  A minimalist with few possessions and little need for most material things, with the exception of Brooks Brothers shirts and Burberry baby clothing for his sweet nieces. He always drove too fast, yelled too loudly, and gave so generously. A liberal , green peace environmentalist from Orange County who also did ROTC (although he hated it). He knew Columbia University was ideal for him the moment he stepped on the campus for the first time at age 18. He learned so much about life, love, and international work in NYC. The Peace Corps experience in Bulgaria was also a pivotal for James and fostered a love for not just international travel, but for working internationally on a local level.

James passed away in his sleep in Copenhagen from heart failure (atherosclertic coronary artery disease complicated by acute thrombosis) on July 25, 2017. His loss has been shocking, painful and unimagineable, but we hope to continue his work through this scholarship.

** GoFundMe has asked to post additional information for their review process and to protect against fraud. This page was created by Kristin (Stephenson) Tosi, James' sister. I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The trustees of the scholarship will be our parents, David and Frances Stephenson in Danville, CA. The funds from this campaign will be awarded to a Columbia University (SIPA) to provide an annual scholarship(s) for students with peace corps background and interest in development. The exact amount of the scholarship will depend on the amount of money raised from this GoFundMe page. The student can choose to use the money for books, coursework or living expenses while in school. My parents will continue to fund the scholarship annually as well. My parents will work with Columbia University to establish this scholarship and invite students to apply. **
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Hi All! Just wanted to send any update about the wonderful student who was awarded the first scholarship of 10K.

Shanna Crumley is a second-year Masters of International Affairs candidate at Columbia SIPA,
where she’s focusing in social policy and management. Prior to SIPA, she served as a Peace Corps
Volunteer in Colombia, where she taught curriculum development, led a girls’ empowerment camp
and blogged about the internally displaced people she met and grew to know.
Building on this experience, as well as on prior work with the State Department and Purpose’s
UNICEF portfolio, she is now co-founder of A4Ed, a social enterprise for refugee education and
semi-finalist in the Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant, and co-president of the SIPA Migration
Working Group. After SIPA, she plans to continue her work with refugees and follow her passion
for sustainable, dignified international development and aid solutions.
+ Read More
Please consider contributing to this scholarship to honor and continue Jamie's work. We have been so fortunate to receive many generous donations, at the same time, all donations($10-25) are greatly appreciated as well!
+ Read More
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$28,511 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 204 people in 14 months
Created July 28, 2017
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$100
Anonymous
2 months ago
KT
$100
Kim Telep
2 months ago
JH
$500
joe harwick
7 months ago
$100
Anonymous
7 months ago
$200
Christina Stephenson
10 months ago
$25
Anonymous
11 months ago
$50
Anonymous
12 months ago
EL
$100
Erik Landemalm
12 months ago
GV
$50
George and Dorothy Voris
12 months ago
BH
$50
Bob and Linda Howe
12 months ago
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